Participating in the international conferences, we do not only present our research results but also want to get new ideas, become inspired and create new networks for collaboration.
Similarly, taking courses in university pedagogy I always hope to discover something new, e.g. interesting digital tools, effective approaches to explaining statistical concepts or improving communication with students, etc. Taking part in ONL course, I once more convinced myself that success of the educational process depends on the degree how well learner’s expectations match course requirements and learning outcomes. This influences learner’s engagement, work planning and learner’s general attitude to the course. The role of moderators is of utmost importance even for experience learners. One needs special skills to catch doubts in group discussions, lead group work in the proper direction towards learning goals of the course while allowing for flexibility in preparation of the final “product”. Another interesting issue was open learning and teaching resources. Helping students to orient in the jungle of lecture notes, videos, databases, graphical tools, software for making presentations, teacher can create stimulating learning environment and facilitate students’ study process. Teacher’s enthusiasm and positive attitude towards innovations in education is also important for students.
Improving my own skills and abilities of online learner, I feel more confident in my visions and plans concerning moving toward blended learning design in my teaching. There is no doubt that digital literacy is one of the main components in education, and Statistics is not an exception. Already today, our students are exposed to using various software for data analysis. I could use modern technology to improve my teaching when demonstrating various difficult statistical concepts, e.g. through simulation applets, record my comments as a compliment to written feedback.
Further, I see a great potential of utilizing Zoom-environment for implementing blended block model in my courses in order to enhance students’ collaborative skills and facilitate students’ learning when working with new statistical methods.
New digital tools which I could explore during ONL course are very interesting and can make teaching, learning and communication much more efficient. Hence, I am going to implement some of them, e.g. padlet, as communication tool with students.
Padlet with students’ questions before and after lecture could help to discover and directly address “threshold concepts” (Myer and Land, 2003) and ”troublesome knowledge” since understanding of threshold concepts provides a deeper insight into the discipline and enhance students’ learning.
Is there promising future for eLearning in statistics education? The answer is definitely YES.
The PhD education suffers today from lack of students for PhD courses, narrow specialization of teachers at the departments and key competences spread over the whole country. Cooperation between universities can certaily lead to development of high quality online courses, improve the communication among PhD students and teachers at different universities, stimulate new collaborations and joint work. Modernization of undergraduate statistics education using new technologies is very timely if thinking about changes in the higher education, e.g. requirement of new skills and applied knowledge, and the society. Teachers must dare to be active online, improve own digital literacy, engage students and colleagues! Great things almost always start small: individual teacher can initiate work with eLearning in own courses, further engaging colleagues to implement digital tools in educational programm, etc.
Meyer, J.H.F. and Land, R. (2003). Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge 1: linkages to the ways of thinking and practising within the disciplines. In Improving student learning—ten years on. C. Rust (Ed), OCSLD, Oxford.